Satans Designe DEFEATED.

In a short Answer to a Manuscript sent by a Priest out of Sussex, to a Member of this present Parliament, full of railing accusa­tions, whereby he hath secretly smitten the In­nocent, by a secret desiring the persecution of the People of God.

But herein his folly and madnesse doth appear, that [...] he hath accused others falsely, him­self is found guilty of the same thing.

With Invitations of Love to the present Autho­rity, that [...]y may save themselves from being the executioners[?] of the Priests malice, least the Lord destroy them.

By a Friend to Righteousnesse, E.B.

LONDON, [...] Thomas Simmons, at the Bull and Mouth neer Aldersgate, 1659.

A Certain Paper being come to my hand (which is said to be written by one Priest Iackson, and sent to a member of Parliament) containing divers particulars charged as errors upon the despised peopl [...] called Quakers, wherein he saith he hath set down some of their Tenents which they maintain; unto which Manuscript I am moved to write something in answer, as to clear the truth from his fowl aspertions which he casts upon it, to the intent that the said member of Parlia­ment, and the whole house may be the better satisfied and resolved; wherein they doubt of every particular, that the truth may appear, when as the fowl vail of the dark­nesse and slanders is removed.

His first particular That the Holy Scriptures are not the word of God, nor the Saints Rule of Faith and Life, neither is it the duty of every one to search them.

Answ. The Holy Scriptures that were given forth by the Spirit of the Lord, as holy men of God were mo­ved, they are the words of God, and a Declaration and a Treatise, Luke 1.1. and that which the Saints had handled and tasted of the word of Life, that they declar­ed forth in words and writing, Acts 1.1. and the Scrip­tures as they were given forth by the Spirit of God, are a true declaration of what is to be believed and practised in relation to eternal salvation, it is a true Testimony concerning God and his mighty works, and of truth and righteousnesse, and it is a Testimony also of the Devil and what he is, and of his deceits and errors, and unrighteousnesse, so the Scriptures are words given forth by the spirit, but Christ is the Word that was before the Scriptures was, for in the beginning was the word of God, and the World was made by it, and the Word shall endure for ever, and Christs Name is called the Word of God, and though the Scriptures are profitable and were given forth to be read, and to be fulfilled, yet they are not the rule and guide of faith and life unto the Saints, but the Spirit of God that gave forth the Scriptures, that is [Page 3] the rule, and guide, the Teacher and leader into all truth, and them that are led by the spirit of God, are the Sons of God, and if you walk in the spirit saith the Apo­stle, you shall live, and as many as walk according to this (to wit of the Spirit) peace is upon them, and so the spirit of God is the rule of the Saints faith and life; and the spirit leads them to walk in the fulfilling of the Scriptures, and according to them. And as for all the Priests in England who doth professe the Scriptures to be their rule, out of their own mouths will God judge them, who are found walking contrary to the Scriptures in life, and doctrine, and practises, while they cry it up for their rule, and condemn all that will not say as they say. And the last part of this proposition is utterly false, for we never do assert that it is not the duty of every one to search them, but we bid every one search the Scriptures and every one ought to search them, but yet we say that none understands them, but who have the spirit that gave them forth, nor none can profit thereby, but by the spirit that gave them forth, which workes the same truth in the heart, which the Scriptures without declares of, and this I do affirm, they are the words of God, and the Spirit of God is the rule of Faith and Life to the Saints, and all men ought to search the Scriptures, and to believe what is therein written, and to receive and en­joy Christ who is the substance and the end of all things, the first and last, the beginning and ending, and in him the Scriptures are fulfilled, and finished.

They do deny the Doctrine of the Trinity, His second Particular. and that Christ is God and man in one person.

Answ. As for the word Trinity, it is invented, and he hath learn't it out of the Masse-Book, or Common Prayer Book, but we own the Doctrine of the Gospel of Christ, that Christ is God, and the Spirit is God; and there are three that bear record, the Father, Son and Spirit, and these are one, but God and the Spirit are not persons, but infinite beings, and the Scripture no where in true Translations expresseth God under the name person, for [Page 4] person is too carnal to expresse God and Christ, and the spirit by, but God was in Christ reconciling the World, and this we believe and acknowlelge according to the Scrip­tures; but for this word Doctrine of the Trinity, the Scrip­tures knowes no such word, but the truth we own, and the Gospel and the Scriptures too.

His third particular They hold that Iesus Christ died onely signally or exemplarily, and that we are justified by the suffering of Christ in us, and to be healed by his stripes is to be stripped of or from sin.

Answ. Jesus Christ died, and rose again, and ascended ac­cording to the Scriptures, this we do believe; And Christ was and is the substance, the end of all signes and examples, yet was he an example to the Saints; And the Apostle exhorted to walk as they had Christ for an example; and while he was in the World he did and spoke and acted many things as Para­bles, signes and examples, the substance of which is to be re­ceived in the Saints, and known by them through the spirit, and we believe Saints are justified by the Christ, and through faith in him which was and is, & is to come, who is blessed for ever, and none are justified by his death and suffering and blood without them, but who witnesseth Christ within them, for all are reprobates, and to be condemned and cannot be ju­stified that hath not Christ in them, as thou mayest read, (ex­cept Christ be in you, you are reprobates) and all that believe in Christ and receives him they are healed through his suffer­ings and stripes, for he sanctifies them, and gives remission of sin and justifies them, and in him the Saints are compleat, and the new man (the regenerate) is justified, and the old man is in the degeneration, and knowes not Christ in him, and hath not received him, but onely heard of him without him, and believes the relation; but this faith doth not justifie, for all the false Christians upon earth hath this faith; but that faith a­lone justifies which gives to receive Christ, and him to live in us, and to dwell in us by that faith.

His fourth particular They utterly renounce the Doctrine of justification by the imputation of the righteousnesse of Christ, or by the obedience he performed, or suf­ferings he sustained or underwent in his own person without us.

[Page 5] Answer, This is partly true, and partly a lie; we do indeed renounce the profession of justification by the imputation of Christ or his Righteousnesse performed without men, by men while they are in the degenerated estate, and unconverted, and unreconciled, and unborn again; for by such profession of justification many deceive their souls; but yet we say, that Righteousnesse is imputed to us, and reckoned unto us who believe in Christ and have received him, even the obedience and sufferings that he performed without us is ours who have received him within us, and witnesseth Christ in us, and therefore we are not reprobates; yet we do acknowledge he wrought perfect righteousnesse by obedience and suffering without us, and that righteousnesse is ours by faith, which faith hath received Christ to dwell in us, and he and his righ­teousnesse, his obedience and sufferings we enjoy in us in spi­rit, if any can receive it let them, for that he wrought Righ­teousnesse this is acknowledged, but who hath a part in this righteousnesse, that is disputable.

They wholly renounce the Doctrine of Election and Reprobation, His fifth particular and it is one of the great reasons for which they decry the Ministers be­cause they assert it; they say Jacob and Esau are in a man, and the good seed is Jacob which God electeth, and the bad seed is Esau which he reprobates.

Answ. The Doctrine of Election and Reprobation we do own according to the Scriptures, and therefore hast thou be­lied us and slandered us, and art found reproveable, and would incense mens minds against us for advantage to thy self, but to some in that house we are better known then thou canst report of us; and yet thou sayest we say that Iacob and Esau are in a man, and the good seed God electeth, and the bad he Reprobates, and thou mayest here see thy confusion and thy ignorance uttered in the self same lines; for thou sayest we renounce the Doctrine of Election and Reprobation, and yet sayest we say the good seed God electeth, and the bad seed he repro­bateth; and this shewes what spirit thou art of, and how that the spirit of unrighteousnesse doth possess thee, and leads thee to speak without understanding; and we further say, man be­ing degenerated, became reprobated and cast out, and all by nature are the children of wrath, and the children of wrath [Page 6] are all in the reprobate state, and none are elected but who are elected in Christ the seed of David, and so in the first Adam all are reprobated, and all that are in the second Adam are elected; and the Election and Reprobation stands not in the persons but in the seeds, and yet the persons are blessed or cursed, in the love or in the displeasure of God, according as the seed of God, or the seed of the Serpent lives and dwels and bears rule in the persons; and we do indeed decry and deny you the professed Ministers, upon many accounts more then one, and we have already, and may in time to come shew suf­ficient reasons against you, both in Doctrine and practise and otherwayes, that you are not the Ministers of Christ, but the Ministers of Satan generally.

His sixth Particular That Iesus Christ as he is the seed of the woman and the seed of Abraham is in every one, and that a measure or part of the substance that was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary, is in every one.

Answ. Jesus Christ he is the seed of the woman, and the seed of Abraham according to the flesh, and after the spirit the Son of the living God, and this Christ that was, and is, and is to come, who was dead but is alive, and lives for ever­more, the alone Saviour of the world, he hath given a mea­sure of Light and Life unto every man, and there is a Light from him that shines in the hearts of all men, shining in dark­nesse; the Light shines, but the darknesse comprehends it not, and this was Iohns Testimony, and is our Testimony that Christ enlighteneth every man, or all mankind that cometh into the World, for in him was life, and the Life was the Light of men, as the scripture saith; and the Apostle Preached the Light that shined in peoples hearts, and it was that Light that gave them the Light of the knowledge of the Glory of God; but thou hast discovered thy self to be a stumbler at the stum­bling-stone, and hath taken offence at the light, like the Pha­risees who professed the scriptures as the Priests of England do, but were ignorant of the Life, the end of the words, and knew not Christ the substance; but the stone at which you stumble will break you to pieces, and grind you to powder, even Christ the Light of the World, that lighteth every man that cometh into the World.

[Page 7] That the soul is a part or measure of God (as they speak) and not a part of man but uncreated; His 7. par­ticular. And so is that light which is in every one.

Ans. The soul is immortal, and God is immortal, for God breathed into man the breath of life, and he became a living soul (as saith the Scripture) and the soul is related to God, for what a man works against God, it is against his own soul; for all sin is against God, and against a mans own soul; And God who hath all souls in his hand, who is the Creator, and gave life into the soul that is immortal and can never die, Though death hath passed over it, And hath reigned over all from Adam till Moses; And Christ is the light of the world that gives life unto the soul, And he raiseth up the soul out of death, and misery, and brings the soul to rejoyce in God its Saviour; And Christ is the souls Bishop, its Pastor, and Feeder, and who knowes Christ knowes him that was before the world was made; and sees to the beginning, and to the ending, and his soul rests in God that is over all.

That the light in the heathens, His 8. par­ticular. who never heard that Iesus Christ died at Ierusalem is the same for the quality of it, with that which is in the most godly person; onely there is a difference in the quantitie; And men are reconciled to God by following of it, This light they say is the sure word of prophesie, and that it is sufficient to lead out of all sin unto God.

An. The Testimony of Iohn is, that Christ is the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world, And if every man, then the heathen, who hath not the relation of Christs life, and his death at Jerusalem, yea and it is the same light that is in the heathen, the same in nature and kind, as it is in the Saints, for the Comforter the spirit of truth is one in it self and the same; Though it comforteth the Saints, and reproveth the world, and the wicked for their sins; And men are reconciled to God by Christ, for he was in God reconciling to himself; and none are reconciled but who walk in the light, and followes it, for who walkes in the light, the blood of Christ cleanseth them from all sin; and they are reconciled, and none else; And the word of God is in the heart as the Scripture saith, Deut. 30. Rom. 10. [Page 8] and that is the word of prophesie, and that word is suffi­cient to lead out of all sin unto God, if men believe in Jesus and receiveth him, and the spirit of truth leadeth into all truth, all that follow it.

His 9. par­ticular. That Christ as man is not in heaven, yea that he hath ceased to be man and consequently to be Mediator, and when I told them he should come in the Clouds in like manner as he ascended, and that at his coming the Elements melteth one of their Teachers told me that the clouds were scattered and the Elements melted in him.

Ans. Christ Jesus is ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father, yea he is ascended far above all heavens, as saith the Scripture, but that is utterly false where­as thou saist, we say he ceased to be man, that is thy lie, and so I passe it; And we believe according to the Scriptures that he shall come in the Clouds in like manner as he As­cended, and at his coming the Elements shall melt; And it is not error for a man to say the Clouds were scattered and the Elements melted in him; for Clouds are darkness and covers the face of the Sun many times as thou mayest behold in the Firmament; But darkness is yet over thy heart, and the Elements are not melted away; And therefore thou art in thy imaginations, putting light for darkness and darkness for light, and calling evil good and good evil.

That the bodies of men shall never rise again after death, and that the day of Iudgement is come already, His tenth particular. and that now the Saints do Iudge the world.

Ans. We do believe the Resurrection according to the Scriptures, for if onely in this life we have hope, we were of all men most miserable; And we believe that the dead shall arise again after death, and every one shall receive ac­cording to the deeds done in the body, they that have done evil shall arise to Eternal condemnation, and they that have done good unto Eternal salvation in the day of Judgement; And the Lord cometh with, and in ten thousand of his Saints to judge the world, and the Saints upon earth do receive the spirit of judgement, and do judge the world, even all things, for the spiritual man judgeth all things, even in this present age, if thou canst receive it thou mayest.

His 11th. particular. They are utterly against water Baptisme and Administering of [Page 9] the Lords Supper with bread and wine, Because they say they have the substance of all within.

Ans. As for Baptisme and the Supper of the Lord we do own it, and it is practised of us in the life and power of God, but as for your Baptisme, that is to say sprinkling of infants, cal­ling it the Baptisme into the faith, and that they are made members of the Church thereby, and that it is a seal of re­generation as you say in your Common-Prayer book, and Directo­ry, that we do utterly deny, and doth say it is no Ordinance of God, neither was ever commanded by him, or practiced by his Saints, but is an Institution of the Whore of Rome, And England received it by a Popish Institution, and your practice of it is idolatry, and not any part of the true worship of God; And as for your breaking bread and drinking wine in that manner and form as it is practiced in the Church of England among the unconverted and unregenerated, that we ut­terly deny also to be of God, or to be ever commanded of him or practiced by his Saints, and this is neither Heresie nor error in us, but true bearing witness against your Idolatrous wayes and practices, with which the Nations are deceived, whom the Whore causeth to drink her cup; even all people hath drunk her cup, and she hath drunk the blood of them that would not; And she hath long sate upon Nations, Peoples, and multitudes, but now she is made bare and discovered, and all you her false Ministers; And whereas the Author doth say these are some of the strange and horrid opinions which they have audatiously in­vented, &c.

Answ. It is no strange thing that truth be called Heresie and error; and that it be branded with a name of strange and horrid opinions, and such like, but we do acknowledge that in that way that is called Heresie do we worship the true and living God, and wo will be unto them that put light for darkness, and darkness for light, but when these particular things and their answers are truely read and weighed, then let spiritual men judge, for this Author must not be judge in his own case, whose judgement is corrupted and his wayes abomination; And it hath been the work of that generation (of those called Ministers I mean) for this seven years to cry out to the Magistrates and to send one Paper after another of this nature to them, but what hath it advantaged them? for hath not the Lord turned their [Page 10] wisdom backward? And even the way which they have thought to destroy the heritage of the Lord, the Lord hereby hath made his heritage more glorious, and so they have striven against the Lord, and altogether in vain, and their doings shall they eat the fruit of, and receive the reward of their own work. And whereas the Author further saith, such as hath saving work in their souls, and that knowes God and Christ, &c. can not but bless God for keeping them from the great blackness and darkness that hath invaded the souls of these deluded wretches.

Answ. They that know the saving work in their souls, and that knowes God and Christ in truth and righteousness, and that calleth upon him with an upright heart we are one with them, and they with us; And they alone that walkes in the light that Christ hath enlighted them withall, are kept from the darkness that doth invade the deluded; and as for thy en­vious reflection, as poor deluded wretches, and such like, these words are to thy self for they have no entrance into our dwel­lings, the Lord hath saved us by his right hand▪ & we bear them as his reproaches for righteousness sake. And whereas thou sayest it is very sad that after so much Preaching of the Gospel so many should take those things for new lights, which are but Antiquated errors, &c.

Ans. It is very sad indeed that the Ministers of this Nation should have so fair a Profession upon them, and should put the Nation to so much charge by giving them tythes and Stipends and mony, and hath spoiled Peoples goods, and cast their bodies into prisons even of many hundreds that would not pay them; And yet the Nation should be left in darkness, and like a un­tilled wilderness, notwithstanding all the Profession of Preach­ing the Gospel, for the Nation hath been like an untilled field, and like People like Priest, like shepherd like sheep, as it is especially amongst them where Shepherds and sheep are risen in Rebellion against the Nation, and hath joyned with the old Caveliers, but this shewes that your Preaching hath been for ends to your selves and for mony, and that you have been Ministers of the Letter, and not of the spirit nor of the power of God, for had you been in the life and Preachers of the true Gospel, the Nations had been as a garden at this day, and not like an unploughed field, as we see they are, people abounding in ungodliness and in all pride, and vanity which is a shame to Christianity; now People and Ministers hath [Page 11] made a shew of the Gospel, but hath been without the power in the form of godliness, and have had the form but resisted the power; And indeed the ignorance of the people will lie upon their Ministers who hath been crying peace to them that have walked after the imaginations of their own hearts, and hath not turned the wicked from his wicked way, and the Scriptures are fulfilled upon them, they have run but God hath not sent them, therefore the people hath not at all been profited by them; but the light of the glorious Gospel is risen in mens hearts, and your folly and vanity is discovered, and that makes you rage and swell like a foaming Sea; now when your shame is seen you are casting out slanders and reproaches, thinking thereby to seduce the minds of people, thinking alwayes to keep the Magistrates on your side and to ride upon them; and that they will establish you in freedom and destroy them that are against you; but the Lord is opening their eyes to behold your deceit and madness; and you will be left unto your selves, and fall into the pit that you have digged for others.

And whereas this Author doth further compare this poor peo­ple which he in scorn calls Quakers with several pestilent Here­ticks as he calls them, that have disturbed the Church, and saith he, they agree with the Adamites, and Pharisees, and Sadduces, and with the Mannachies with the Jewes, Turkes, Servebus, and with the Soscinians and many more which he names, and saith we agree with them, and this is to render us odious and as abominable as he can to men in Authority:

To all which I do answer, what we do profess and practise for Religion, we have not been learnt from man nor been taught it by men; not our Gospel nor Religion, but we have received it from the Lord, and of him are we taught, and by the spirit lead into all truth, and though thou hast done as the Pharisees did; they reckoned Christ with transgressors, and crucified him betwixt two thieves, so though thou hast com­pared us with such and such; whom thou callest Hereticks and it is possible many of them might be so, and so thou hast shew­ed the spirit of the Pharisees, and of the murtherers that de­nyed Christ, and we are known unto the Lord what we are, though not unto mortal mans wisdom that perisheth; And to whom shall we more truely compare the Ministers of England? are they not like those which Isaiah cryed against, that sought [Page 12] for their gain from their quarter, that were greedy dumb dogs? And like them that Ieremiah cryed against that said, thus saith the Lord when the Lord, had never spoken to them, nor sent them? and are not you all like them that Micah cryed against chap. 3. that Preached for hire and Divined for mony, and that prepared war against those that would not put into their mouthes, as you do at this day? and are not you like them that Ezekiel cryed against that made a prey upon the flock, and made merchandize of souls and fed themselves with the fat, and did not feed the flock, but ruled over them with force and cruelty? And are you not like such as Christ cryed wo against that were called of men Master, that went in long robes and love greeting in the markets, and uppermost roomes at feasts? for you act those things which Christ cryed wo against, the Pharisees who did the same things; And are not you like them that Paul spoke of, that are headdy and high minded men, and covetous and proud, and went in the way of Baalam for gifts and rewards, and that through coveteousness with fained words made Merchandize of souls? And

Are not you like them that Iohn saw was coming in, in his dayes, that went out from them, and that went into the world, that were of the world, and spoke of the world, and the world heard them, and which the world went after? And are not you of them that hath de­ceived the whole world, that hath been of the Whore that causeth all Nations to drink her cup, and of them that hath made war against the Saints and against the Lamb, of that stock of the false Prophets that wrought miracles in the sight of the beast, And the world wonders after the beast? and the beast hath carried the Whore, and he hath compelled and caused all to worship him, and the Whore caused all to drink of the cup of her fornication? are not these things so? may not the witness of God in all mens consciences truely answer hereunto, and condemn you to be such as were the false prophets and the hirelings and the deceivers, against whom the Prophets, Christ and the Apostles gave witness; yea it is manifest that you are in the same way, and of the same generation, and that you follow the same spirit, because you shew forth the same works? and are not you like the Papist, and the Jesuites, was it not by the Authority of the Pope of Rome that your very way of [Page 13] making Ministers was ordained at Schools and Colledges? and were it not the Papists and in their dayes that the general part of your Church Discipline and Government, the call of your Ministers, and practice of them, and maintenance of them, was it not first set up by the Papists? was not this way of Tythes first established by the Church of Rome? and do you not follow the Papists herein in receiving tythes & Gleab Lands, and Easter reckonings and Midsumer dues, which you hold up, and would destroy them that will not give you such things; And therefore are not you like unto the Papists and Jesuites? yea we know that the Church of England is but newly come out of the womb of Popery, and hath the Symtomes thereof upon her at this very day in many things; yea, the Testimony of God in all people may witnes hereunto, and so it is the very trick of the Whore to cry out against others and to charge others with that wch she is guilty of her self; but now it will not cover them to slander others that themselves may seem clear; for the Lord is opening peoples hearts and giving them a spirit to discern all things.

And whereas the Author speaks against the Quakers for cry­ing against Cuffs, Caps, and for using thee, and thou, and for cry­ing against Pulpits and hour glasses and such things, and for owning Revelation, and for holding the free grace of God to be given unto all, and because of trembling and quaking, and saying our writ­tings are given out by the same infallible spirit that the Scriptures were given out by, and for crying down the Ministers maintenance, and for calling some of them vipers and Serpents.

To all this I answer, it is your generation that makes a great noise about thee and thou, and Cuffs and Caps, for we in plainness and simplicity do speak the proper Language, thee, and thou to a single person, and it is the proud and exalted minds of men that are offended hereat, which pride and arogancie hath eaten out the sincerity, and the very propriety of speech also, and you are offended at us because of it, and for crying against your Cuffs and Boot-hose-tops & Ribbands and points; we cry against all these things as not becoming the Ministers of Christ, but as being of the world in the pride and vanity and superfluity, abusing the Creation, which the Lord will Judge among you; And as for having an hour-glasse and Preaching thereby, and as for your carnal Bells which you call people by, we do disown these things, and say they are old Popish inven­tions, [Page 14] for the Ministers of Christ never limited their spirits to an hour-glasse, neither had they a carnal Bell to call people to their worship; and as for Revelation, we do own that the Spirit of God doth reveal truth to us, and God hath revealed Christ in us, and none ever shall know God but by Revelation; for none knowes the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him; And as for free grace, we say the grace of God hath appeared to all men, and it teacheth the Saints to deny ungodliness; but the wicked turns it into wantonness, and doth dispite unto the spirit of grace; and we also say, that who now speakes or are moved to write forth by the Spirit of God, they speak and write by the same spirit that is infalliable that the Scriptures was given forth by; And as for your main­tenance, it is altogether abominable and oppression to the Nati­on, and the Lord is against it, your taking peoples goods and casting them into prison that will not pay you wages, and give you Tythes against their consciences; And be not offend­ed at being called vipers and Serpents, for these are the works of venemous vipers and stinging Serpents which pesecute the ser­vants of God, and cryes to the Magistrates for help against a poor people that useth no weapons against you, saving that of the Spirit of God, and though we do thus to you, to the false Ministers; to cry against them, and give our witness against them in the name of the Lord, yet we do not deny the true Mini­sters of Christ, nor speak any thing against them which are the true Ministers that hath received the ministry of righteousness by the gift of the holy spirit, which all that are true Ministers doth receive their ministry thereby.

And whereas thou sayest we are bitter enemies to the Doctrine of Iustification, and agrees with the Cavelierish party, and would silence godly Ministers, and are Iesuitical, and such like things thou falsly chargeth upon us, and that we have a notable faculty to delude ignorant unstable souls, &c.

Ans. These are but the Authors reproaches and his slanders he hath filled his mouth with against the innocent; And he hath set his tongue on the fire of hell, to slander the Just and the in­nocent; and all these things we bear in patience, counting re­proaches for Christ our chiefest riches and thus to the substance of this Paper I have given answer, whereby all that love the Lord, and desire to be informed in the truth may receive satis­faction; [Page 15] for it is seen that that generation of Priests are joyn­ed with the Prelatical Cavelierish party, and this is known at large in the Nation in the North especially, and so as I said they would fain slander others that themselves might seem clear; but the Lord will rebuke him and his lying tongue, and the in­nocent shall be delivered from his devouring lips; and as for any other thing in his Paper it is not worth answering to, nor worth minding, but his wickednes will turn upon his own head and he shall bear the burthen of his own words, only he queries whether this be not the pestilence that walks in darkness? And the flouds that the Dragon hath cast out of his mouth to drown the woman? is not this the mark of the beast who opened his mouth in blasphemy? And are not these the unclean spirits that came out of the mouth of the Dragon and out of the mouth of the false prophet?

Ans. Now the pestilence that walkes in darkness, is the plague that is out of the light, sin and death and misery, which smites the ungodly, and he sees it not; And the flood which the Dragon cast out is the flouds of persecution and cruelty, (viz) the imprisoning until death, and spoiling peoples goods for tythes and mony, as the Priests have done; And the Dragon gave power to the beast that compelled all to worship, and that carried the Whore, the false Church, and the true Church hath been fled into the wilderness for many generations, and the false Church (the Whore) hath sate as a Queen, and given her cup to drink, the false Church of Rome, and the false Church of the Protestants, all which are of the Whore, these have all been carried by the beast which the Dragon gave his power to. And they have all persecuted the woman, the true Church, and the mark of the beast he compelled people to receive, and com­pelled them to worship, and they opened their mouths in blas­phemy, that denies Christ, and denies the light, and that sayes they are Iewes and are not, this is error and blasphemy which the Beast opens his mouth in against the Saints, and against them that dwell in heaven, and the unclean spirits are the spirits of Devils that are out of the truth, and these the Dragon cast out in slanders, and reproaches, and lies, such as this Author hath done, and of that generation is he. Christ said false prophets should come, and Iohn saw in his dayes they were come, and he saw the world gone after them, and of that generation are you, and now the Lord is gathering [Page 16] people from you again, and Babylon must fall, and all her mer­chants howl and weep, And these things have been which the Scripture speaks of, and the woman is now coming out of the wilderness again, and the Whore must be rewarded, and sor­row is coming upon her, and as she hath done unto the Saints, so shall the Saints do unto her.

And in the conclusion he saith; worthy Sir, (to this member of Parliament) it will be your honour to stand in the gap to stop the violence of this hellish Torrent that is so high that it sounds from Dan to Beersheba, and threatens Iudgement to our Israel, &c.

Ans. Here is the conclusion of thy matter, which is the sum of it, a running to the powers of the earth for help; what, have you ministers lost the Lord to be your strength, that you must flie for help to men to defend you from the spirit of God in his people? must they make Lawes to establish you and set you up? is not this the Whore that road upon the Beast, and that the Beast carries? is not here a description of her out of the mouth of this Author? Is he crying to you to persecute the innocent? it is true, the seed of God is risen▪ the Elect seed that is able to make war against the beast and against the false prophets, even with the word of the Lord, and is he offended that truth is risen so high? And would he have some fire and Faggots again in Smith-field? and some persecution and banishment acted upon the people of God? is this the standing in the gap and stopping violence, or would he have it done this way? yea, Judgements indeed are threatened to your generation; for if God will not destroy you soon enough, you will destroy your own selves, and your own iniquity will be upon you, and the wickedness of the wicked shall slay him.

But my Councel is not onely to that particular member, but to the whole body of them, that they be wise and take heed what they do, for the eye of the Lord is over you, and his hand can dash you in pieces, and if you be oppressors of the people of God, and will not relieve the oppressed, the innocent, and break the bonds of oppression, the Lord will break you in pieces; for this is the rock that hath broken all before you, persecuting people for conscience sake, and if you go in this way, your de­struction shall be the most lamentable of any that was ever yet before you; do you not yet see the wickedness of this gene­ration? will you yet contend for them? surely you might learn [Page 17] wisdome even by their solly, and if you do not shut your eyes, there needs no more discovery then their own present wayes and works.

Wherefore consider the day of Gods visitation is upon you, make good use of your time least the Lord break you down and never build you up, and let the Spirit of the Lord have its liberty and limit it not, for if you do you shall never prosper, nor never be made a blessing unto the people under your charge.

Remember you are warned by a lover of your souls.

AND Friends, Great things hath the Lord done in these Nations in your dayes, and that by the face of your Authority; and there hath a spirit stirred in some of you & in the Army, which the Lord hath appeared with, and yet the work of the Lord is not finished; but greater things then these hath the Lord to accomplish amongst us and in this Nation, and these things that have come to pass, have been but as the preparing of the way, for the bringing about greater things; It is true, many Mountains have been removed, and some op­pressions taken off, and excellent things have been promised, and doubtless (by some of you) really intended; but alas! the work hath long remained unfinished, and many of your best Friends are almost weary with waiting, to receive the end of their hopes and desires; and many are even fainting con­cerning the Good Old Cause, though of late it hath seemed to be revived by you, yet it goes but easily forwards, and even so little is its growth since your late Meeting, that many are think­ing themselves to be in a deceived condition by you; Why? They see that wicked Clergies interest more prospering then the just freedom of the people. And this I say unto you in the Name of the Lord, that while that interest (of this false Priest­hood I mean) is so much favoured and defended, you can ne­ver prosper, nor the Nations be ever happy under you; for it is one of the greatest oppressions this day in the Nation, the maintaining and upholding of this Ministry by Tithes & other unrighteous wages, and the very Land groans under the op­pression [Page 18] of this Church and Ministry, which lyes as a heavy burthen upon both persons, and estates, and consciences of many good people, even of your dearest Friends, and though the Lord doth manifestly (even from Heaven) shew signal to­kens of his displeasure against them, and the servants of the Lord, they also cease not to warn you concerning them, and their own doings are sufficient Testimony of the malice of their hearts against you and all good men in the Nation, yet never­theless some of you seem to shut your eyes, and as if you would see no evil in them, but are crying up your godly Ministers; & some of you utterly despising the man (as not worthy to live) that doth but speak against them; and thus are you blinded, and perceives not where the cause lyes of your interruption to bring forth righteousness. I say, it is the favouring of that in­terest which stops the issues of good things, and while you op­press peoples persons & estates, & consciences, to uphold this Mini­stry and Priesthood aforesaid, the Lord shall never prosper you, nor make the Nations happy under your charges, and this you shall witness eternally; Wherefore I do say unto you, it is high time for you to lay aside the interest of this oppressing Clergy, so much leavened and tasted of the Whore of Rome; your selves do know that the spirit of the Romish Clergy was in the late Bishops, which you east out for their wickedness; and the very spirit of those Bishops is entred into these Priests, and bears rule in their hearts; and thus by succession hath the Whore of Rome leavened the Clergy of England, from one generation to another, with her taste and savour; and there is the remainer of her murthers and cruelty in those mens breasts, and at every opportunity it breaks forth, as of late in this Re­bellion you have full Testimony, and if you do not curbe it speedily, it will grow over you to your undoing. Therefore clear your selves, do not any longer drink the Whores cup, neither be ye carriers of her, to execute her wickedness upon the bodies and consciences of people, for it is written the Beast hath carried the Whore, and we see it hath been thus, as Iohn saw it was to come to pass; and so clear your selves from her Tyrannies and Oppressions, and leave this false Church and ministry to themselves, and if God will not [Page 19] uphold them by his power, Why should you do it? If these Priests have not yet planted Vineyards that will yield them fruit, & if their flock will not yield them milk freely, why should you unjustly impose upon peoples Consciences, and compel Tithes and money from them, for the maintenance of these men? Ye ought not to do it, for while ye compel and force people by violence, contrary to good Conscience, to maintain and uphold this Ministry, and Church, and Worship, you do but cause people to drink the Whores cup, and you are but them which carries the Whore, viz. the false Church; and this is plain dealing, to tell you the Truth, whether ye will reject it or receive it, wherefore cast them off and let them not lurke under your wings, for one day they will rebell against you, and another day flatter with you, and for a season they will shew forth much love & kindnes in hypocrisie, even while they are hatching mischief against you, and to bring the Nation into blood, and they will cry out Heresie, and error of others that themselves may seem clear, while as the same lodgeth in their own hearts, wherefore I say do not make a false peace with them, nor do not [...] with treacherous mindes; for you had better have them your open enemies, then deceitful and flattering friends, you had better be in a just opposition against them, then in an unjust peace with them; I know it appears to many of you, a thing very hard to be born; what? to forsake our godly Ministers think ye, to hear tell of laying them aside, is an amazement unto some of your minds? was it not the same concerning the King and Bishops? was it not as much terrible to him and his Lords and Councel to think of the overthrow of the then called godly Fathers and Bishops▪ but better had he cast them off, and saved himself, then to have perished with them; and so I say unto you, better were it for you to lay these men aside, and their flatteries and feigned prayers, and to save your selves from their flattery, then to perish with them, and the one of these will come to passe, for its decreed of the Lord, if you uphold them, and oppresse peoples persons, estates and consciences on their behalf, and in their evil cause, for Tythes and wages to them, ye shall fall with them, and none shall be able to deliver, neither you nor [Page 20] them, for I tell you again, that the very spirit of the old Idola­trous Bishops (long since cast out) is entred into the hearts of these men, and there is as great a measure of Tyranny and injustice and abomination lying upon these, as once was upon the Bishops, and these are no less free from any abomination, then they were, and these are nigh as ripe for vengeance and over­throw as the others were, and it will as surely come upon these, as it did upon them [...] wherefore take heed unto your selves, and be wise, and learn, and do us justice, or else God will do us justice upon you, if ye will not take off our burthens and ease our oppressions, the Lord God will ease us of you▪ and the earth shall not be oppressed with you, and if ye will uphold this Priesthood against equity and good con­science, the Lord will free good consciences both from you and them, and this is the word of the Lord God to you.

The open enemy hath not prevailed against you, but the secret hand of the Lord, will not miss you.


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